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Find Patents

This guide is an overview of how to find patents using free, public, and UC Library resources.

Searching by key word

Most full text patent databases allow you to limit your search to sections within the patent or let you search everything. 

The most targeted searches limit the terms to three sections, the Titles, Abstracts, and Claims.  This prevents false hits from background information, company names, or cited literature that may not be relevant to your search. 

Patents are written in technical language and often define claims using specific terms or combination of terms. Patent searchers often have to use combinations of terms in advanced searches with truncation and proximity connectors. 

Searching by classification code

Patents are given classification codes by patent examiners at patent offices. There are several different types of codes. 

Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) was created to harmonize classification from the USPTO and the EPO. These appear on the face of the patent.

Derwent Innovation also provides their own classification codes in their databases for search purposes. These do NOT appear on patents. 

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